Mariposa Landing
by Margaret Nava

Bell Bridge Books, 2010. ISBN 978-1-935-66199-3.
Reviewed by Doris Anne Roop-Benner
Posted on 05/16/2012

Fiction: Mainstream

Mariposa Landing is a novel about the love of family, faith, and friends. It's the third in a series about Angela's fictionalized life. After meeting and falling in love with Gilberto and moving to West Virginia to raise goats, she is getting ready to travel to Mariposa Landing, Alabama, to meet the daughter that she gave up for adoption decades ago.

When they arrive in Alabama, Angela wants everything to be perfect before she meets her daughter. Gilberto thinks she is already perfect—he is so crazy in love with her. So, she needn't have worried. When she finally meets Rebecca, she loves Angela immediately and says "Thank you, Angela, for giving me a good home. My adoptive parents were good people. But you were the one who made sure that I was taken care of and loved."

Rebecca helps to run Mariposa Landing, which is a farm for families who want to work and study to pass their citizenship test. Dominick, her teenage son, lives there with her. He was born with spina bifida, and had surgery shortly after he was born, but was permanently paralyzed and has never walked. This does not deter him. Angela is smitten with him right away and they will share not only some wild adventures, but a mutual love between grandmother (Grams) and grandson.

Nava tells us about all of Angela's interesting friends: Gelah, her best friend, who helped find her daughter; Katherine of the Foxy Ladies; Angela's troubled brother Tony; Steve the Preacher and his wife Monica; and Jack who owns a unique gift shop and his mother Vesta who are Rebecca's friends. All of them and more are connected in her "Circle of Life."

Angela readily admits that nothing extraordinary happened in her life, just ordinary day-to-day events. Every chapter shows a celebration of joy, hope, and new beginnings. And, as Angela likes to say, "you don't quit playing because you grow old—you grow old because you quit playing."

Margaret Nava is a travel writer and novelist who lived in West Virginia for many years. Now based in New Mexico, she's hard at work on her next Angela Dunn novel.

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